(In)equalities in Paid Parental Leave for women and men in Lithuania

Sonata Vyšniauskienė
Lietuvos socialinių mokslų centras // Sociologijos institutas // Socialinės kaitos ir nelygybių tyrimų skyrius, Jaunesnioji mokslo darbuotoja, doktorantė.

The paper presented in the conference purpose is to investigate the role of paid parental leave policies on gender (in)equality in Lithuania. In this paper it is considered the degree to which leave policies, publicly provided childcare services, flexible working time arrangements promote egalitarian distribution between mothers and fathers, balancing work-life conflict. Lithuania presents an interesting case to investigate. The country has undergone social policy reforms during the last decades developed modern gender equality infrastructure. Like many Eastern European countries, the leave for parents in Lithuania is long. Unequal division of care is one of the causes behind gender inequalities. Since men do not share leave equally, it decreases women labour market participation and generates inequalities. The paper is aiming to answer the following research questions: How are the family policy measures (paid parental leave system, availability of pre-school education and quality of services) applied in Lithuania is influencing the participation of women and men in the labour market? What is the role of flexible working time arrangements? What are the factors that influence the preferences of paid parental leave for mothers and fathers? How do mothers’ and fathers’ choices differ depending on employment in different labour market sectors, professional status, and other related factors? The first part of the paper is devoted to the comprehensive analysis and the development of leave policies and gender equality. The country experienced re–familiarization of care, support mothers’ leave at home rather than reconciling work and family responsibilities. The second part of the paper provides theoretical explanations. Following Esping–Andersen’s (1999) welfare states address the first type of inequality by decommodification and the second by defamiliarization. Parental leave policies and gender equality patterns in different EU countries were discussed. The third part of the paper presents an analysis of multinomial logistic regression used to analyze leave policy preferences and other factors concerning women and men (in)equalities for parental leave. The primary data of the Statistics Lithuania Survey of population employment and career – family reconciliation 2010 – 2018 is used. The concluding part of the paper presents conclusions and discussion